The term ‘up-cycling’ gets thrown around a lot these days, to varying degrees of welcome. There’s certainly a gradient of taste that may have to be straddled, in order for something old to become something new again. A task made notably less daunting if your particular piece of junk, as it were, comes with its own hefty helping of evocative design already baked in. Perhaps no greater heap to scrounge from than that of automotive designs then, if your goal is to elevate the mundane from shabby dereliction to something decorative, yet functional, something that expresses your love of the mechanical.
Up-cycling – the Spanish way
All of this is just a lengthy preamble for me to gush about the elegant products that the Spanish design workshop of Bel & Bel (Bel y Bel) has to offer. With well over a decade of experience and exposure, this small team of engineers and artists has taken the philosophy of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ to heart, and are taking an ever expanding variety of car and scooter parts to create elegant perfection, if you’ll pardon the hyperbole. From coffee tables to high end couches sporting the classic look of classic Seat city cars, from scooters and VW buses being transformed into bar stools and counters, from wall mounted lamps to entire car trunks converted to mobile fridge coolers, these guys manage to capture a certain evergreen retro-futurist aesthetic that strikes me right to my core.
You have a scooter? How about a Scooter Chair then?
And maybe none caught my eye more so than their hallmark ‘Scooter Chairs’. Hand crafted with actual parts from vintage Vespas and customizable down to the stitching in the leather upholstery, these beauties demonstrate exactly the kind of eye for detail and the level of polish that contributed to the company’s success. Next to single colored examples, there are also Scooter Chairs with Gulf or Martini liveries. It’s fair to say, I really want one. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Stylish improvements for home and workplace
In addition to all that, they are quite adventurous when it comes to electric modes of transport as well, with their bolt on kits to retro-fy your Ninebot Segway, and their very own bespoke Monowheel bringing a dash of quaint luxury to the otherwise – let’s face it – fairly drab designs of the electric scooter market. If you happen to be on the lookout for some stylish improvements for your office space, studio apartment, hotel, restaurant, bar, reception area or showroom, or just in the mood to give these products a wistful once-over, you can peruse their homepage or their Instagram, which shows off even more of their projects, as well as some design inspirations and in-progress works.
Images: Bel y Bel